Ring of Fire 73km Run

RING OF FIRE 73KM VOLCANIC ULTRA:
ROUND RUAPEHU

Your Event Day Timeline:
4.15am to 4.25am. Wave Starts
7.12am. Sunrise
11.00am.  Course Cut-Off to Start Leg 2
12.50pm. First Finisher Expected
5.30pm. Course Cut-Off to Start Leg 3
7.30pm. Course Cut-Off to leave Waihohonu Hut
7.30pm. Finish Line move inside the Chateau Tongariro
7.43pm. Sunset
11.00pm.  Course Cut-Off at Chateau Tongariro

NO Saturday Registration:
Friday pre event registration is compulsory for all Ring of Fire 73km entrants.  There is no opportunity for pre event registration on race day.

Compulsory Gear:
This event requires the absolute full list of compulsory gear and is the same as Ring of Fire 50km entrants.  Please download this file Comp Gear 73km and 50km for details on exactly what is required so you are prepared.

Check out our sponsors, True Fleece Merino for your base layer long sleeve and beanie!

Minimum Age
Entrants must be 18 years on event day unless an exemption (based on previous performances) is granted by the Race Management team. Requests can be emailed to info@rof.co.nz

Entry Qualification
This event is a beast and you must be fully prepared to take on this distance and level of elevation change, high up in the mountains.  Our safety management plan is comprehensive and is resourced to respond to both well prepared entrants “having a bad day” and the usual spills an event like this usually has.  It is however critical that underprepared entrants in any specific distance are shifted to an alternate distance – one in which they feel fully prepared to meet the challenge ahead.  There is not one clear qualifying standard for the 73km event as such (that may come in future years).  For the 2022 event, you’ll be asked to submit answers to some simple questions shown below during the online registration process.

In accordance with our Safety Management documentation and upon reviewing your supplied info, our course team reserves the right to:
– Request additional/updated information/evidence of preparedness from you.
– Downgrade your entry to a shorter distance (appropriate refunds will be made in these scenerios)

Tracks & Terrain Used:
The event is held on the Ruapehu Around the Mountain Track.  The Ring of Fire 73km starts and finish at the Chateau Tongariro and will consist of three legs as described at the bottom of this page.

Elevation: (MASSIVE!!)
3370m Up
3370m Down.

Drop Bag Service:
Anytime during the Friday event registration, 73km athletes can provide our crew with specific gear/food/drink that they would like available to them at either the Ohakune Mountain Road Aid Station (end of Leg 1) or the Tukino Access Road Aid Station (end of Leg 2). All gear must be in your own bags (ideally super noticeable to you).  Make sure your bags are sealed, compact and have your name on them. We will also provide ID stickers relevant to which aid station and ensure they are available to you at each aid station. There is no spectator access to the end of Leg 2 aid station, hence the drop bag service.  Drop bags will be returned to the Tongariro Registration Room following the closure of the respective Aid Stations.   You will need your event number to pick up your drop bags at the finish area on Saturday.  Depending on timelines gear bags can also be collected Sunday morning from us.

Aid Stations x2

While it’s strongly recommended for entrants to be self sufficient on course,  (and to absolutely take advantage of the drop bag service), the event will have medical support, food, shelter and drinks available to entrants at both aid stations.  You’ll have the ability to fill up water supplies,  enjoy a cold cup of R-Line electrolyte or Coke, a hot cup of coffee/tea/tomato soup, and a quick snack on chips/lollies or a Peanut Butter/Jam Sammie.

A Cupless Event:
We are not providing cups at the Aid Stations because we are trying to minimise the waste created from the event. Please bring your own cup or cups.  There are some very good silicone cups for sale in NZ.

Time Spent In The Dark:
You may spend up to 6 hours in the dark on the course if you are towards the tail end.   In the morning you have a 4.20am start with sunrise not until 7.12am.  In the evening (if still on course) you have sunset at 7.43pm and a course cut-off of 11.00pm

Course Cut-Off Times:
There are 4 course cut-off points to think about as shown below.  In previous versions of the Ring of Fire event, entrants have been given up to 20 hours to complete the course.  For the 2022  event that time limit is reduced to 18.5 hours (i.e the tail needs to go approx 30 mins quicker on each leg than previous years). If you are concerned about the cut-off times, please remember the full 73km is no easy undertaking.  We do have the 50km Ring of Fire to consider for 2022 until you feel more prepared to tackle the Ring of Fire 73km course.
– Course Cut-Off to Start Leg 2 – 11.00am
– Course Cut-Off to Start Leg 3 – 5.30pm
– Course Cut-Off to leave Waihohonu Hut – 7.15pm
– Course Cut-Off at Chateau Tongariro – 11.00pm

Parking and Transport Info:
There will be plenty of parking made available around the Chateau Tongariro for your early morning start line adventure.  As the event starts and finishes at the Chateau Tongariro there is no bus transport associated with this distance.

LEG ONE

Renowned as ‘The Original Goat’ course, this leg in Ring of Fire will be a modified version of The Original Goat route travelling up the Silica Rapids track onto the Whakapapaiti Track branching onto the Round the Mountain track.

  • Distance: 23.9km,  Chateau Tongariro to MUAC Hut, Ohakune Mountain Road
  • Elevation: +1458m, -1118m

Summary: Technical – elevated, exposed.

Description: This is the most technical leg.  The course is a rough trail with stones, creek crossings, uneven ground, rock scrambles and many small but cumulative elevation changes.

LEG TWO

We will refer to for now as ‘The Missing Link.

  • Distance: 25.5km,  MUAC Hut, Ohakune Mountain Road to Tukino Ski Field Access Road
  • Elevation: +1321m, -1378m

Summary: Technical, big valleys, climbing, long, exposed in sections.

Description: This leg starts with the Ohakune Mountain Road descent, then enters native bush trails. It breaks into open boulder fields and includes the crossing of the Wahianoa River (there is a swing bridge) and finishes with sand, tussock and rocky terrain at the top of the Rangipo Desert.

LEG THREE

Renowned as ‘The Tussock Traverse’ course, this leg in Ring of Fire will be a modified version of the Tussock route starting on the Tukino Road dropping down onto the Round the Mountain track on the final leg towards the finish at the Chateau Tongariro.

  • Distance: 23.5km, Tukino Ski Field Access Road to Chateau Tongariro
  • Elevation: +0591m, -0874m

Summary: true desert landscape features wind sculptured sands and volcanic rock to Waihohonu stream climbing to the Tama Saddle before descending homeward on well formed tracks.

Description: This is by far the easiest leg of the race (which is great because it is the last).  The track surface is excellent and the elevation is quite gentle.  The Waihohonu Hut is the only hut on this section.  Highlights include passing between Mount Ruapehu on your left and Mount Ngauruhoe and Tongariro on your right.  The final 10km or so are a gentle downhill past the impressive Taranaki Falls and onto the finish line.

Top